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Tips to Explain Why You Were Fired

How do I explain why I got fired in an interview? It’s not always an easy question to answer for most jobseekers; in fact many of them allow the fear of answering this question to throw them off their job searching. We all know being fired can impact your daily life. There are ways to minimize the “fired” effect that you think might ruin your chances at a great position.

  1. Prepare yourself for the question: “Why were you fired?”

    It’s inevitable that the prospective employer will ask this question in the interview. By being honest about your past situation it will let the employer know you are trustworthy, a very desirable trait in a new employee. In a few sentences explain what happened, and move on to why you would be a good candidate for the job.

  2. Don’t criticize your last employer

    Even though you might hold some bitterness against your past employer, dishing dirt will only make the current interviewer concerned about what you’ll say in the future about your co-workers or company when working with them or if you move on someday. There is no reason for you to justify how you were wronged to your current employer, no one wants to hire someone they fear could badmouth them, this will not help you get hired.

  3. References? Do you trust them?

    Make sure if you are using references that you are using people who will give you a good review of your position and character. If you plan on using someone whom you had a strained relationship with they might say too much about how and why you got fired. It’s important to know what he/she plans to say about you when they get the call.

  4. What have you learned?

    You might want to tell the interviewer what you have learned from this experience. Being fired from a position could make you think differently about what might have led up to that in the first place and how to do things differently in the future. Be positive and turn this into an opportunity to showcase your skills and assets. Show how you learned from mistakes.

So be positive and honest, show employers you can improve. You might find employers who are impressed with how you handled being fired. Sometime might pass, but when you find that next job, it might be the best one yet.

Noreen Dobbins

Noreen works for NetTemps.com and has over 10 years’ experience working with jobseekers to help in their job search efforts. She is also the editor of Crossroads, a leading newsletter offering advice and tips for jobseekers.